My title A New Voice of American Medicine is testament the fact that the Physicians Foundation is relatively new. The Foundation is a nonprofit, non-lobbying organization founded in 2003 as the result of a settlement between 19 state and country medical societies and major HMOs.
One voice for the Physicians Foundation that is particularly compelling is that of Phillip Miller. Vice-President of Communications for Merritt Hawkins and Associates. This national recruiting firm is close to the ground and to reality. It speaks ever day to physicians seeking a job and to hospitals, medical groups, and other organizations seeking physicians.
The words will serve nicely as an introduction into the works of the Physicians Foundation.
This White Paper reflects the results of Merritt Hawkins and the Advisory Board’s analysis.
5) Emerging practice models will vary by region – one size does not fit all. Large, Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), private practice medical homes, large independent groups, community health centers (CHCs), concierge practices, and small aligned groups will proliferate.
6) Reform will drastically increase physician legal compliance and potential liability under federal fraud and abuse statutes. Enhances funding for enforcement, addititional latitude for “whistle blowers,” and suspension of government’s need to prove “intent” will create a compliance environment many physicians will find problematic.
7) Reform will exacerbate physician shortages, creating access issues for many patients. Primary care shortages and physician maldistribution will not be resolved. Physician will need to redefine their roles and rethink delivery models in order to meet rising demand.
8) The imperative to care for more patients, to provide higher perceived quality, at less cost, with increased reporting and tracking demands, in an environment of high potential liability and problematic reimbursement, will put additional stress on physicians, particularly those in private practices. Some physicians will respond by opting out of private practice or by abandoning medicine altogether, contributing to the physician shortage.
9) The omission in reform of a “fix” to the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula and of liability reform will further disengage physicians from medicine and limit patient access. SGR is unlikely to be resolved by Congress and will probably be folded into new payment mechanisms within the next five years .
10) Health care reform was necessary and inevitable. The impetus of informal reform would likely have spurred many of the changes above, independent of formal reform. Net gain in coverage, quality and costs are to be hoped for. But the transition will be challenging to all physicians and onerous for many.”
Tweet: Private American medical practices are in a state of decline and transition to other models of health care delivery.